TYLER, Texas (KETK) — East Texas is seeing rain, ice, sleet and frigid temps this week. Along with the wintry mix, many people are without power and picking up limbs that have fallen near their homes.
“Back home in Houston, I’m used to hurricanes knocking down trees, not really much winter storms,” said UT Tyler student, Ethan Hernandez.
A product of those conditions: slick roads and falling branches.
“It’s so crazy because you’re going around and you just hear ‘crack’ and you don’t know where it’s coming from and all a sudden you just you know see something fall and hit the ground,” said East Texan, Devon Bell.
Nearly every branch on every tree is covered in ice in the area and while they may look pretty, they can be dangerous.
“You know it really kind of awoke me to wanting to have an emergency prepared plan. You know having supplies and stuff. The power can go out at any time,” added Bell.
It’s important to be mindful of where you’re standing, but also where you’re driving in these icy conditions.
“Good rule of thumb is start out as slow as you can and when you’re in a situation where you start to feel that your car is losing control, then that’s probably too fast,” said Sgt. Adam Albritton with Texas DPS.
Sgt. Albritton said as of 9:30 Wednesday morning, there have been 22 accidents across five East Texas counties, including one involving an 18-wheeler near Jim Hogg Road on I-20.
“He was approaching traffic that was going significantly slower than he was in front of him, so he decided to change lanes to avoid hitting them and there was another vehicle that was in the right lane, and he subsequently clipped that other vehicle in the right lane and caused him to tip over onto the right,” said Sgt. Albritton
Roads in East Texas that tend to have more ice accumulation are I-20 and US-271 due to the overpasses and bridges.
“Early in the mornings is usually when the ice accumulates real heavy on the major highways and interstates and overpasses and bridges,” added Sgt. Albritton.
Be very careful when getting on the road, and avoid parking under a tree in case of falling branches.